We told you yesterday that Gail Spurlock, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the District 12 State Board of Education seat in Texas, thinks the early Pilgrims were communists. Her views about sex education are similarly — how should we say — “out there.” In her interview with the right-wing North Texas Council, Spurlock said she thinks any mention of sex education in the public school health curriculum should be removed. And why is that?
“Society has been reproducing for thousands and thousands of years. I don’t think it’s something you need to teach children in schools. Even if we never say a word, they’re gonna figure it out. It’s not that tough.”
Here’s more of her answer:
Spurlock’s comment reminded us of what one rural school superintendent told us in 2007 when the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund surveyed the state’s public schools about what they were teaching on sex education:
“[We are] a small school with 301 students in grades PK to 12. Most of these kids live on a farm or have animals they feed and care for. They get a pretty good sex education from their animals.”
Good grief. Sex education isn’t about teaching someone how to have sex. Texas has one of the highest teen birthrates in the nation. Clearly, Texas teens already know how to have sex. But they are tragically ignorant about the risks they’re taking and how to lessen those risks.
Sex education is about encouraging young people to abstain from sex as well as giving them medically accurate information about condoms and other forms of contraception and disease prevention. That information will help them make important life decisions that protect their health and their future.
Texas parents know this is plain common sense. A statewide poll for the TFN Education Fund in 2010 found that 80 percent of likely voters in Texas agreed that high school classes on sex education should teach “about contraception, such as condoms and other birth control, along with abstinence.” Moreover, research has shown that students who receive formal, comprehensive sex education that includes information on both abstinence and contraception are more likely to delay having sex for the first time and to use protection when they do have sex.
When Ms. Spurlock is finished trashing the Pilgrims for supposedly being communists, maybe she could consider why keeping young people ignorant isn’t going to resolve the teen pregnancy crisis in Texas.